15 May Mariangela Vecchi // Eco Kin Series
I once read somewhere: “Want nothing more than the basic of what you need”. It summarised all for me, and I pinned it to my wall.
Tell us a little about yourself and your values?
I am Mariangela, a fibre/textile artist, maker of Zafu cushions and whacky textiles. I studied languages and medieval/renaissance art in Florence, and I have a background in industrial knitted goods prototype making. I have also worked in community arts projects around Brisbane. I love colours & patterns and making one-off things, including meals. I am also an art therapist and Buddhist psychotherapist. I value loyalty, quality, skill, silence and beauty.
What does living an “eco-friendly fashion” mean to you? What does this look like in your life?
I do it, but it is difficult to put into words without sounding pretentious. I try to want less, I once read somewhere: “Want nothing more than the basics of what you need” It summarised all for me, and I pinned it to my wall. I value all life and connect with people where they are at. I am horrified about pollution, degradation, over sexualisation of children, slavery, the wellbeing of refugees, and the excessive wastefulness of the food, fashion and building industries.
How do you make sure you are being a Conscious Consumer?
I check what I am buying. Do I really need it? Where does it come from? Who made it? How long did it travel to get to me? What is the real cost to both humans and the environment? I also ask the questions: Is there a lot more to life than being a consumer? Why are we so desperate to consume something? Why do we suddenly need “super foods?” or a new “distressed” pair of denims?
What do you think are the biggest obstacles and challenges for people wanting to slow down and become conscious/responsible as consumers?
Too much clutter. Far too many “friends” on social media. Too many “how did it get here” items in our houses. Too many ill-fitting clothes in our wardrobes. Too much packaged food in our pantries. Too many “medications”. Being weighed down by too many wants, feeling uncertain about the future, and uncomfortable about ourselves.
What are some of the things you do to slow down?
Create with colourful fibres, bringing out beauty in discarded objects like repairing/reclaiming and fixing things. Gardening, meditating, washing dishes, helping others… I do find it very hard to physically slow down, really, but I try at least to slow down my mind.
Is there a lot more to life than being a consumer? Why are we so desperate to consume something? Why do we suddenly need “super foods?” or a new “distressed” pair of denims?
Do you have any advice or tips for people wanting to live a slower, more sustainable lifestyle?
I think it is better for individuals to first do our inner work; then we can join others from a position of deeply rooted strength; a place that is devoid of anger and anxiety, where we can influence/support others. A place where we can make the right decisions for ourselves and the people around us. Externally: start from looking at the contents of your fridge, what are you throwing away/eating/holding on to? What goes in your rubbish? Where does that rubbish go? Do your bit even if no one is watching. But, at the end, try not to have a poverty mentality, buy the best of what you can afford in food & fashion, buy only the essential, and create beautiful food at home.
How can people find out more about you and your work?
I make Ottomans, Meditation & floor Cushions, which I sell locally or on my Etsy shop:
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org